The idea of cramming into a 500,000-pound plane with a hundred other people and flying across the country terrifies a significant percentage of people. Group travel leaders often encounter members who want to participate in the organization’s tours but feel real anxiety about flying or just travel in general.
To help these anxiety-ridden members who want to go but express fear, use these tips to encourage them to get outside their comfort zone so they don’t miss out on the joys of group travel. They’ll thank you when they return home with treasured memories of the group trip.
One of the groups I'm taking on a cruise in 2017 will be cruising on Carnival's Valor Cruise Ship. This stunning vessel has a capacity of 2,980 guests, is 953 feet in length, features 14 decks, and hosts an on-board crew of 1,180! Whether you are a part of that August group or will simply be traveling aboard this ship for another cruise in the future, here's your insider's guide to the Valor!
Where You'll Sleep
The Carnival Valor features staterooms in the interior of the ship as well as ocean view rooms, rooms with a balcony, and suites. If a suite isn't in your budget, I strongly suggest a balcony room at the very least. Basic balcony rooms can sleep up to 4 guests, and these rooms are also a little larger than the interior and ocean view cabins. Just like their name suggests, extended balcony rooms feature a more spacious balcony, and these rooms also sleep up to 4 people. The Premium Vista Balcony staterooms that are available only sleep two, but these rooms wrap around the aft corners of the Carnival Valor, giving you a unique vantage point from which to enjoy amazing panoramic views of the sky and the sea. There are also a variety of options for your interior and ocean view rooms as well. To learn more about the staterooms available to you, and to determine which one is best for your needs and budget, call Imperial Cruise and Travel at (480) 758-5147.
Endless Dining Options
The beauty of a cruise is that your ticket price includes a wide variety of dining options. The Carnival Valor is no exception. Along with the dining room that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can also dine at the following spots:
Need a moment away from it all? Consider the Serenity Adult Only Retreat! On the top deck of the ship, this no-kid zone may be the most relaxing area you'll find. However, if you're looking for some excitement just a few of the fun activities included with your ticket are:
There is a casino aboard, multiple bars, shops, a spa and fitness center and several on-board events that vary by cruise week. The cruise ship even offers mini golf, a seaside theater featuring "dive-in" movies. Bottom line, there is always something to do while you are aboard the Valor. And, all of these elements don't even include your ports of call! Cruises really are the best travel experience for your buck!
If you are a beach lover, than Turks and Caicos is for you. TripAdvisor named Providenciales their number one Island in 2015, and Grace Bay Beach the best beach in the world in 2016. The busiest tourist season for Turks and Caicos is during the winter months from the end of November through March. Most of the island’s activities and tours are based on this season.
The Turks & Caicos Islands are two islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of the Bahamas. The islands were part of the United Kingdom’s Jamaican colony until 1959, when they assumed the title of a separate crown colony. Although independence was agreed upon for 1982, the policy was reversed and the islands are presently a British overseas territory.
Turks & Caicos is arid compared with other Caribbean destinations; the island receives less than 50 inches of rainfall annually and generally lacks the lush landscape found across other Caribbean nations. Still, the islands are consistently favored by sunshine and cooling breezes, and the beaches rank with the Caribbean’s best. The Turks & Caicos’ primary appeal is its status as a mostly undiscovered and not overly developed tourism destination.
Providenciales is the main tourism city although not the capital (which is Grand Turk). It features a handful of attractions including the Provo Golf Club, the island’s only 18-hole championship course, site of the 1999 and 2009 Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships. There are also various operators offering dive tours at reefs across the island. Travelers can also rent a boat for a full- or half-day, or enjoy virtually every form of water sports, from parasailing to sail boarding. Picnics on exclusive private beaches can be arranged and there are multiple spots for snorkeling amongst the island’s exotic fish and coral. The Turks & Caicos has one of the world’s longest coral reefs, making it a premier dive destination.
Horseback riding and kite boarding are other available activities; visitors can take in the Caicos Conch Farm to learn about the life cycle of the conch, an unofficial island symbol. Fishing excursions are also available. The Turk & Caicos has an upscale beachside dining scene, with a wide variety of restaurants including the popular Hemingway’s at the Sands at Grace Bay hotel. Grand Turk attractions include a historic lighthouse, which features a keeper’s residence and a kerosene storage building, all built of local limestone blocks. For generations, the lighthouse served as mariners’ sole beacon to avoid the treacherous northeast reef, which extends eastward far out to sea and was responsible for multiple shipwrecks.
Cruise ships call at the Carnival Cruise Line’s beachfront terminal in Grand Turk, which represents the islands’ closest link to mass tourism. Located toward the south end of the island, the terminal complex features a tourism village with shops and restaurants, an oversized pool where guests can rent private cabanas, and an 800-foot-long beach. Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is one of the popular eateries featured found here.
The main airport, in Providenciales, is small and at times struggles to keep pace with the recent wave of tourist arrivals. Travelers should arrange for a shuttle or taxi to meet them after landing. Upon departing, travelers should arrive at the airport approximately three to four hours before their fight time, especially on Saturdays, when lines can extend out of the airport doors.
Ready for your winter getaway? Call me now so we can get started an exciting trip to Turks & Caicos.
Thelma Pruitt has been an avid fan of cruising for some time and feels this is a great way to see several different islands in one amazing trip. She loves to help her clients plan their vacations whether it's by land or sea.